Thursday 8 December 2016

Morrison's Mac can have plenty of Fun in York feature

Thomas Kelly

Published 20/08/2016 | 02:30

Morrison: High hopes for Fun Mac Photo: Alan Crowhurst/ Getty Images
Morrison: High hopes for Fun Mac Photo: Alan Crowhurst/ Getty Images

Fun Mac can rediscover his best form to land the today's Ebor at York at a decent price for Hughie Morrison.

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The strong-staying five-year-old has so far struggled this season, but it would be a mistake to scotch his claims in the main event of the four-day festival.

It was always going to be impossible to land a blow in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot on his seasonal debut, and he was predictably never a factor.

More worrying, perhaps, was his subdued run in the Coral Marathon at Sandown, which was followed by a similarly poor show at Goodwood.

But those prepared to give him another try can be rewarded, as there is a strong chance the shrewd Morrison has had the Ebor on the agenda all year.

The gelded son of Shirocco, it must be remembered, impressed in the staying department in 2015, with an 11-length demolition job at Salisbury last May a sign of what was to come.

Fun Mac then got to within half a length of Clondaw Warrior in the Ascot Stakes at the Royal meeting and also gave Pallasator a decent run for his dough in the Doncaster Cup.

Then there was his pleasing effort at Longchamp last autumn, when he finished third in the Prix du Cadran.

Stamina, then, is certainly not an issue when it comes to the Ebor, but he is not short of boot, either. The forecast for rain is likely to satisfy his connections as Fun Mac is just as good an operator on an easier surface as he is when it is dry.

With the capable Charlie Bennett taking off a handy 5lb, the fact he is at an age which has supplied bountiful Ebor winners should also be factored into the equation.

It is never easy finding the winner of the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes but Mokarris just about fits the bill.

Simon Crisford's young buck found the ground too soft at Royal Ascot, but he really showed his true colours at Newbury with a clinical success in the Listed Rose Bowl Stakes. At this stage of career, the expensively-bought son of More Than Ready could be just about anything.

Scottish is worthy of support in the Betfred Mobile Strensall Stakes. Godolphin's four-year-old was outmuscled by the useful Royal Artillery in a Group Three at Haydock in July, but he did not lose a great deal in defeat and should appreciate running over this slightly shorter trip.

William Buick's mount still has plenty scope for improvement and should prove too strong for the Queen's Diploma.

The opening Jack Berry House Handicap over an extended ten furlongs looks an ideal opportunity for Chancer to enhance his good record on the Knavesmire.

David O'Meara's eight-year-old has been slightly below-par to date this season, but he has fallen down the weights as a result and his experience of these big-field handicaps could prove decisive with likely favourite Scarlet Dragon still on a learning curve.

Down at Sandown the Solario Stakes has attracted a field of promising youngsters, with Richard Hannon's Eqtiraan catching the eye.

Owned by Hamdan Al Maktoum, the son of Helmet is the mount of former Grand National winning rider Timmy Murphy and looked a juvenile with considerable potential when winning a modest Ascot maiden on its debut.

His stablemate Repton and the Willie Haggas-trained Seniority look the main dangers in a contest which looks sure to throw plenty of future Group winners.

Irish Independent

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